Preparing for an Energy Audit at Your Industrial Facility
Conducting an energy audit for your industrial facility is important. These locations are what makes America one of the world’s strongest economies. Manufacturing, oil and gas production and refining facilities make the world a better place to live in. The facilities across several industries consistently produce automotive, aircraft, ships, heavy machinery that make the world a better place to live in.
However, while the plants in your industry may produce top-quality products for the nation; what is the cost of production? How much could be saved with a few long-term tweaks? How is your industrial facility’s energy demand impacting the environment around it?
All of these are questions your facility managers should be asking themselves during annual reviews at their locations. If you find that your specific facility is expending an exorbitant amount of energy to produce its products, it may be time to look into an energy savings plan or even an entire infrastructure reboot. It all starts with a standard facility energy audit. Here are some of the key points you should examine during this important step towards savings and environmental-friendliness.
Why Should your Industrial Facility Conduct an Energy Audit?
Many facility managers may wonder why it’s beneficial for them to spend their time conducting an energy audit. Even if you already have an energy efficiency program in place, an energy audit could help improve your energy information management efforts. Other reasons to start this process at your industrial location are:
- To evaluate how effective a current energy savings program is;
- Find out how a plant is using energy;
- To understand where your plant can start saving energy and money
What Assessment is Best for Your Facility?
Depending on the size and scope of your industry or facility, your location may opt for a:
Preliminary Energy Audit
This audit works with energy data that is readily-available to auditors. This isn’t the most in-depth assessment but it can give a smaller industrial facility some insight into some available energy efficient opportunities without taking up too much time during the actual audit.
Also known as the “Detailed Audit,” this assessment requires more measurements, data, and
other information to give a facility results. This is an in-depth process that examines different energy systems throughout at facility.
Once again the decision on which assessment to go with relies heavily on your industry’s long-term goals, and the ultimate cost reduction you’d like to see as the result of energy savings.
Preparing for Your Energy Assessment
Prior to the actual conducting of your audit, your management team should get together and discuss the main goals your assessment should meet. Time in the industrial market is essential, so if you’re going to use your time to conduct an audit, make sure it’s on the mark.
Aside from general objectives, some main points this prep meeting should hit include:
- The type of audit you need;
- How much staff must be involved in your project;
- Audit timeline;
- What reporting requirements must be met during the assessment.
During this meeting, create your official audit team, and introduce them to the energy consultant team helping out with the project. They will be able to work with your employees to build an outline and strategy that ensures no stone is left unturned during your audit.
Gather Up Your Energy Bills
Energy bills and other historical, essential data will be necessary for your energy assessment. This data can sometimes take time to recover, so ensure that your team has collected it prior to the audit. Remember, the more information you have, the more successful you will be at realizing how your facility has performed in the past and where performance can improve.
Here are some of the essential pieces of data you’ll want your team to collect during the initial stages of the process:
- Energy bills dating back 3 years;
- Production data from the last 3 years;
- Architectural plans of the facility;
- Engineering plans of the facility;
- Details on any energy saving efforts already in place; And
- Detailed information about the plant’s history.
Analyzing The Data
Industrial facilities use up an abundance of energy to produce their goods. On top of that, there usually isn’t one source of energy that they rely on. After you’ve gathered up the data, speak with your third-party partner to determine what exactly needs to be examined during the process.
Your facility’s electric bills will paint a large picture of where industry costs are hitting your location. The two main items your team wants to look out for are, electricity use per day, and the load factor.
Energy Use Per Day (kWh/day)
Each month, your bill will show how much electricity has been expended during the time period. Even though these numbers are directly available, in order for an audit to be successful, you’ll need to measure the energy per day. Making the calculations to be more precise can later accurately display how the monthly energy was used, resulting in efficient analysis during the audit.
Most facilities do not operate at maximum energy demand. So, determining the load factor of a plant’s monthly energy is important. Your energy savings management team will be able to examine your energy bills and determine if your load factor presents the opportunity for improvement after the assessment is conducted.
The amount paid on your plant’s natural gas bill depends on your usage, natural gas market prices, and gas transportation rates. With the help of your auditor, you can get in touch with your gas utility company and discuss some of the specific terms and measurements used to determine the amount of gas used during the specified time period.
Create an Energy-Saving Plan of Action with Priority Power Management
Energy-savings for your industrial plant can create a long-term surplus of funds that can be used to improve equipment, infrastructure, and more! If you’re a manager looking for ways to reel-in your facility’s energy use, Priority Power Management can help. Not only can we take the helm as your trusted energy advisor during an audit, but we can also help you take the next successful steps towards energy efficiency. Contact us today to find out how to schedule your assessment!Back to Blog